Status Report on FAA's Operational Evolution Plan
We issued a status report on the Operational Evolution Plan (OEP), FAA's blueprint for enhancing National Airspace capacity over the next decade. The report, prepared at the request of Rep. Don Young, Chairman, and Rep. Jim Oberstar, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, examined 12 major initiatives in the plan, including new runways, new technologies, and air traffic procedures. We found FAA had made progress with OEP initiatives. However, since the plan was introduced, the demand for air travel has decreased, major network carriers are in financial distress, and Aviation Trust Fund revenues have declined sharply. FAA is re-evaluating the plan. In conjunction with this effort, we recommended that the agency determine how much the plan will cost, link the plan to its budget, set priorities, and address uncertainties regarding how quickly airspace users will equip with new technologies.